Daniel Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc

Veterans Health Foundation

Daniel Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc

Dan Hall is Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and Core Investigator at the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. Dr. Hall is a general surgeon with training in both moral philosophy and theology, and is interested in the ethics of surgery. His current research focuses on improving the decision-making and preoperative care of frail patients scheduled for elective surgery. Other research focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of IRB review throughout the VA healthcare system, and using qualitative and quantitative methods to describe how patients and surgeons negotiate the process of informed consent for clinical surgery. He is also interested in how surgical residency shapes the character of surgeons-in-training and how best to form the virtues of character necessary for good surgical practice.

Dr. Hall earned degrees in medicine and theology from Yale University before completing his surgical training at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church with interests in the theology of medicine. He was the first John Templeton Fellow in Religion and Medicine at Duke University where his research focused on epistemology, moral philosophy, religious measurement, and the ways in which medical decision-making is influenced by religious and secular worldviews. He has published and lectured on ethics and the role religion plays in the context of clinical medicine. His clinical interests focus on both minimally invasive, emergency general surgery, and surgical palliative care.

Investigator Research Interests


  • Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
  • Staff Surgeon, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Core Investigator, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Core Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh

What are the 3 most important questions that define your research program?

  1. Can frailty be impacted by exercise to reduce post-surgical complications?
  2. Does the Risk Analysis Index (RAI) accurately predict post-surgical outcomes?
  3. What is the IMPACT of palliative care consultations on the surgical process?

What are five key words that best describe your areas of interest?

  1. Frailty
  2. Surgery
  3. Prehabilitation
  4. Exercise therapy
  5. Nutrition support

What are up to 5 technologies, models, methods, analytical approaches or other forms of expertise that characterize your research program?

  1. Frailty assessment
  2. Procedural outcomes
  3. Functional assessment
  4. Exercise training